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Re: This, too, shall pass!

Posted by ESC on May 09, 2001

In Reply to: This too shall pass! posted by Bruce Kahl on May 09, 2001

: : Wanting to know the meaning of this exactly and if it is in fact "this" and not "these"? Anyone with info would be greatly appreciated!

: : Ta

: The phrase is "This too shall pass" not "two"!
: I guess this difference was adding to your confusion.
: Your phrase means that your current predicament or situation will probably be worked out and that there probably is another one on its way.

From the archives:
THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS -- "Abraham Lincoln, in an address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859, said: 'It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction.'

Scarcely a year later in his book 'The Marble Faun' Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: 'This greatest mortal consolation, which we derive from transitoriness of all things -- from the right of saying, in every conjecture,' 'This, too, will pass away.' Obviously, it is a useful bit of all-purpose philosophy.

Somehow, it calls to mind a somewhat more self-serving remark that H.L. Mencken often used in reply to letters criticizing him for something he had done or written: 'Dear Sir,' Mencken would write, 'There may well be much in what you have to say. Sincerely.'" From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins " ( HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1977, 1988).